Thursday 22nd May

The alarm woke me at 5am.
I had time to copy a couple more albums of photos onto dvds while I got dressed, packed up the frozen stuff and got the car packed.
Woke Azzan at 5:30am.
We were gone before 6am.
Did well 🙂
Azzan has not been feeling great for the past couple of days.
Nothing specific except that he describes his stomach feels as it has been put it the washing machine.
He is eating selected foods.
This morning he took some fruit but ate nothing, just dozed most of the way.
We were in town by 8:30am.
I went straight to the centre to drop off some boxes to the op shop.
When I turned into the carpark the car made some weird noises and clunks.
Rather concerning.
I drove very carefully around to Tahunanui.
Seemed ok so I diverted to Arrow Motel to put the frozen meats into the freezer before heading to Muratai Motors to get the fan belts tightened and a new battery installed.
But when I manoeuvred the car it did the same clunks and weird steering motions again.
I was getting very worried so tentatively drove to the garage and told them what was happening.
They did the belts and tested the battery, totally stuffed so definitely needed a new one.
Then we went for a test drive and of course the car behaved perfectly.
They checked everything they could think of but found nothing wrong so I left and said I would monitor it through the day.
Went directly to wholesaler to pick up a few things and when I reversed in and parked up I all of a sudden realised I was still in Auto mode which allows the car to be 4WD.
I put it into 2WD and guess what??
No more clunking and weird steering.
It does not like to be in 4WD on tarsal!!
Problem solved 😉

When I left I had to drop the groceries off to a friend of Anson’s and then another box off to Alan.
Was trying to ascertain where Andy lived and which place was closest from Anson’s directions and the iPhone map, but I got totally bushed and rather stressed finding my way.
Eventually got it sorted and unloaded at both places.
Azzan was being very helpful and was lifting and carrying anything that was too heavy for me.
Still being protective of my back.

Once we got rid of all the big stuff then we headed into the city centre and did a couple of the extremity jobs before parking up in the centre and walking to the rest of them.
We were both hungry so first stop was Morrison St cafe.
I wanted corn fritters with avocado but Azzan wanted burritos from the Mexican place not far away.
He sat with me while I ate and then once I was nearly finished he went off to order his as takeaways.
Then he sat in the sun near JayJays and Smiggle while I shopped.
He was entertained by the police coming to arrest several young folk for shoplifting!!
Then we unloaded the bags into the car and went to Whitcoulls to change a book.
Huge sale so had fun 🙂
He was getting tired so took the books back to the car to rest up while I went to pick up our tickets and passports from Roni at Harvey World Travel.
Most exciting.
Countdown has begun!!
As I walked down Trafalgar St I passed a couple of police cars and a policeman directing a handcuffed guy into the car.
Seems to be a busy day of illegal activity in town today!!

Zipped back to the car as the meter was running out.
My phone was almost flat so I decided to put it on the car charger and go for a drive to New World to pick up a few things and give it time to charge.
Banged into b-i-l Martin there – good to have a quick catch up before we both head overseas 🙂

Back into the city again and we both went walking.
I had papers to pick up at the bank, have witnessed at lawyers and then drop off at accountants.
Still had time to take Azzan to Farmers.
They had a huge sale on and he needed sox and underwear.
‘Shhh Mum! Don’t say that word out loud in public!’  🙂
So ins tread of waiting to shop in Oz like he was hoping we got them all here at exceptional prices, plus he got several pairs of jeans and a really cool jersey.
He was very happy.
As was I at the bargains.

We stopped and got him a baked potato for lunch and then I dropped him off at the library.
I spent the next hour and a half at Nelson Beauty Therapy.
It is the best end of the day to have an appointment there!!
After an early start and non stop action it was so good to lie back and relax and be pampered by Amanda.

It was really windy when I left at 4:30pm.
Drove to the library and got Azzan as new card as his one has disappeared.
It costs $2.50 to replace the original free one :-/
Then we went to Hangar 58 and had an early dinner and talked to Nathan as he cruised by during his shift.
I dropped Azzan back at the motel and then drove out to visit Shoshannah.
Chatted with her and Ross & Andrea while they had dinner.
They went out at 7pm and Shoshannah had a Skype session booked soon after so I left her to it and cruised off to Stoke to see Phillipa & Pat for a while.
Finally made it back to the motel around 9:30pm.
Azzan was tucked up in bed watching tv.
I had a quick catch up with John & Sally, organised tomorrow and then hopped into my bed.
Long day, but satisfyingly productive.


Wednesday 21st May

I woke around 6 and got busy in the study.
I nearly missed this incredible view of the bay just after 7am cuz I had my head down working.
It was amazing.
No photoshop here – just as it was!!

Nuana went off and spent the day working on Tardis with the guys.
It was quite a blustery day so I hung washing on the line.
Anson came round first thing for a while to organise the kids but then he got busy and never came back for them.

I was busy all day getting things tidied up and packing etc.
Made a potato dish in the slow cooker for dinner.
Found the recipe on Facebook and it looked quite good.
You line the cooker with tinfoil and then layer potatoes, onions, bacon & cheese several times and then seal the tinfoil and cook on low for 10-12 hours.
That seemed an awful long time but I turned it on at 10am and left it to do its thing and hoped for the best.
Mahalia made broccoli & blue cheese soup.
It was deeeeelicious!
Azzan reckoned it was ‘to die for good’.
Had some for lunch and froze the rest for Hali and Nuana to enjoy later.

I did lots of cleaning and sorting in my room as I was packing my bag.
Got rid of lots of things.
So with the kids doing a chuck out too, I have two large boxes to drop off at the op shop tomorrow.

Tidied up some loose ends in the study, made several business phone calls & caught up with Lizzie, Paula & Ella.

Kids went off to find Olly later this arvo.
It was too windy to ride him so they just walked him home.

The potato casserole was really yummy but did not look at all like the picture!
We all decided that it is quite fun cooking without an oven, makes you think outside the square.
Mahalia made some mousse in the vitamin for dessert.
She doubled the recipe but it was way too much.
We couldn’t eat a lot as it was too rich so lots left over for Anson to clean up tomorrow 😉
She made it from avocado, but you wouldn’t even know it was in there.
Really good.
Sweetened with berries.

Finished packing and threw all the bags in the car.
Quite a load in already as we are taking Nick’s dive gear down to Chch for him, plus a heap of boxes to drop off in Nelson.
Sat and went through things with Mahalia so she knows all the contact details and what to do re the mail & phone calls etc.

I had a shower after dinner to save time in the morning as I want to make an early get away.
Spent the rest of the evening burning off dvds of our road trip photos.
Trying to make some space on my laptop and save them for Mahalia to play with on the

Tuesday 20th May

Woke earlyish but stayed in bed till around 8am.
Trying to make myself rest.
For the first time since I returned home I heard the wind blowing.
It tends to raise the temperatures which is great.

Another busy day.
Mahalia was painting her nails.
She said she thought it she did them early in the morning then they would dry and set before she had to do anything.
Today they were white with black drawings on them.

However her early was not early enough so all day I have been hearing frustration noises from her when she damages the paint.
First world problems – so tough :-/

I got the kitchen fire cranked up as the water was cold.
It took quite a while to get the water to heat.
I made a fruit smoothie in the Vitamix for breakfast.
Mahalia was craving muffins and as I had yoghurt to use up I made a batch for her.
Went to find the muffin trays and found that mice had chewed holes in the silicon making several of the muffin holes unusable.
Little blighters!
Sent half of the muffins back with Anson & Marah later.

Mahalia and Nuana spent ages sorting out the pantry first.
We had packed most of the food away in bins to prevent mice damage.
So it was time to unpack them and sort groceries so I know what shopping is needed.
I decided to make some fudge cake from the biscuit crumbs left over from Jesika’s wedding cheese cakes.
It made up 6 batches.
I iced them and left them to set, Mahalia cut them up later and child them ready to pack away.
There was mountains of dishes to do so I washed as soon as the water was hot enough, and Azzan dried and put away.


Then after a rest the girls emptied out both freezers and did a huge sort out.
Took a while, they wore ski gloves and had lots of rests.
Such a tough job 😉

I got Azzan’s bags completely sorted and packed.
Am taking some of Jesika & Evan’s wedding presents over to them so am wrapping them in our clothes to protect them.
Also Tim’s bible.
Jesika asked me ages ago if she could have something of her Dad’s and I offered her his Bible.
She was delighted, but I haven’t been able to part with it yet.
Decided that this trip was a good opportunity to take it over to her so sat and went through it and took out all his notes.
Seeing his handwriting, and finding his pencil tucked inside was just a bit much for me.
The tears came unbidden, I sat and cried unobtrusively.
Azzan noticed and came over and cuddled me and just let me cry.
Had a good chat on the phone with Sandra soon after which helped heaps.
Thanks my special next door friend xxxx

Azzan had seen a recipe that he wanted to try.
I took some saveloys from the freezer and boiled them up, then he poked spaghetti noodles through them.
Then he boiled them to cook the spaghetti.
Its pretty cool 🙂
I used the tomato sauce Mahalia made.
It had a hefty amount of cayenne in it so is too spicy to eat straight.
I added a can of coconut cream and a can of diced tomatoes to some of it and Azzan poured it over the spaghetti and topped it with grated cheese.
It was really yummy.

I was pretty weary by this time so took my plate and lay on my bed to watch a movie.
I had not been there long when I heard a very quiet whisper in the hallway.
A few seconds later Anson & Eden crept in to surprise me!
Eden rolled around on the bed with me while Anson & I talked.
Marah came and took her away so we could talk in peace.

We eventually made it out to the lounge and the kids gave Eden a balloon to play with.
Anson was in a very playful teasing mood and kept hitting it from her so she had to chase it.
Marah got irked with him for upsetting Eden so it all very soon turned into a bit of a domestic 🙂
Crazy family!!
All over a pink balloon 😉
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They loaded my electric stove onto the back of the truck and then everyone hopped on the back with it and Anson drove back to The Croft.
Marah’s oven is barely functioning so I have given her mine.
We can make do until Anson is able to bring in another one for me.

I spent the rest of the afternoon in the study sorting out photos and getting paperwork printed etc.
Anson came round again and used the computer.
Cat & Leeann arrived back from a week over at D’Urville Island.
Mahalia walked Olly back, he is being a bit stroppy as he hasn’t been ridden for a couple of months.
She will have to put some work into him to tone him down again.
Nuana headed off to bed early.
She is still not 100%.

I unearthed myself sometime after 6pm and found the two kids rarking about in the lounge and nothing done towards dinner.
I was unimpressed.
They soon rallied and we quickly made a stir fry of veges, bacon and tomatoes.
Mahalia sorted, washed and froze a heap of spinach and Azzan chopped up celery for the freezer.
Then we added some feta to dinner and served it on couscous.
It was very easy, fresh, nourishing & tasty.
Good to show the kids that you can cook something quick in the electric frypan and not have to be reliant on the stove.

Sunday 19th May

I was woken during the night by a distinctly loud whisper calling ‘Mum’!
I woke suddenly but there was no one there.
I know I heard it.

Went back to sleep and then woke around 4:30am.
Was wide awake so sat in bed and spent a couple of hours replying to emails that had been accruing in my Inbox.
Some were embarrassingly there a long time :-/

Caught up with them then around 7am I filled my hottie, heated up the leftovers of Sandra’s delicious macaroni cheese & salmon, made myself a cup of herb tea and came back to bed for a while longer to watch the rest of ‘Queen’ while I heat packed my back.
When the movie finished I dozed for a while.
The kids were up and Nuana was wandering around – looking somewhat better than yesterday but still not 100%.
Decided around 9am that we needed to get the day underway so we cranked through a list I had in my head of things I wanted to achieve for this morning.
First I called Seb and asked, ‘What does a battery charger look like? How do I work it? And where do I find it?’
From there Nuana & I marched on up to the workshop, located the charger, attached it to my car battery and turned it on and left it to do its thing.
Then Nuana & the kids carried down the kitchen vinyl to store in the house until Graham returns to fix it.
Found the 20L hydrogen peroxide I bought a few months back and relocated that to the washhouse so I can use it in washing and spa pool.
Then Nuana & I took a walk up to the shed to see if we could get the old farm truck going.
I have never driven this beast before but was feeling up for the challenge.
Thankfully Nuana was with me and was able to suss out that the battery was disconnected.
Got that sorted and turned on the key and away she went.
I backed it out of the shed very cautiously and trundled down the hill.
It’s a pretty basic model these days and there are no mirrors so backing was a bit of a mission, but with some guidance I got it sussed.

Then the kids loaded Eden’s birthday trampoline on the back, hopped on with it and I put the foot to the metal and we ground our way back up the orchard.
I crept along the road cautiously, it was a bit of a mission to drive.
I really needed several pillows behind my back and some major muscles in my shoulders!!
But I managed to move it up through to 3rd gear and we arrived safely at The Croft.
Marah heard us coming and thought it was Anson.
She yelled in major surprise to see me driving it which shocked Eden into giving a really loud scream.
Such fun!!

The crew carried the trampoline up to the house and while we deliberated where to put it we had a look at the alterations being done.
Eden thinks the nails are excellent things to play with and wanted to share them around.
It was getting on to lunch time so we put the trampoline on the back deck for now.
Eden thought it was super cool to have her toy and had some bouncing fun with Azzan to stir her along.
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e said our goodbyes as it was Eden’s lunch & nap time.
But before we left Marah wanted to take some photographic evidence of my escapade 🙂
In lieu of wing mirrors I used the girls to direct my reversing!
My co pilot 🙂

We had a relaxing afternoon.
I got Azzan semi packed.
Made dinner.

The kids didn’t want to watch my choice of movie while we ate dinner so they chose a Nora Roberts thriller romance ‘Northern Lights’.
The fires hadn’t been going so there was no hot water for the dishes so we left them till morning.
Not my favourite thing to do, but whatever!

Sunday 18th May

I woke around 6am and read till 7am and then went back to sleep.
I must’ve been tired cuz I was absolutely out to it when Marah phoned me at 9am.
Unheard of that I sleep that late!

It is 15 months today that we lost Tim.
Several of the kids have said lately they just feel flat.
I sure get that.
Even on good days, when the sun is shining and the world is happy and we can laugh.
Inside there is just flatness.
And no matter how many of my friends & family are loving me I am still incredibly lonely.
And that is just a fact that I can’t escape and that no-one can fill.
No-one can fill the space that Tim has left.

We had organised the previous night to come here today to celebrate Eden’s birthday because we will be away on the actual date in 2 weeks.
She was phoning to say that the numbers were increasing.
So I bounced out of bed, actually it was probably more of a stagger….
Talked to kids to get them activated while I had a shower.
Azzan wanted to make cup cakes so he got started on them.
When I arrived out to the kitchen he was underway.
I had the 3 large oven dishes of casserole to deal with.
I started spooning it into containers to freeze down so Mahalia would have it to feed to the shearers.
The kitchen bench was rather chaotic with many things happening and then in amongst it all Azzan was trying to make icing for the cakes and it wasn’t working and he was getting frustrated, found out after he wasn’t following a recipe.
It was all to much for this OCD/PTSD mother and I had to make it very loud and clear that once I got the casseroles into the freezer and the bench a bit tidier I would then help him with the icing, and he had to wait!
To occupy him during the wait process we sent him off to feed the pigs because the scrap bin was overflowing.
Finally things were under some sort of order and I was able to walk him through the steps of making the fluffy butter icing in the 3 colours that he was wanting.
He was happy and thanked me for helping him 🙂
He then proceeded to spend the next hour fluffing around decorating the 37 cupcakes!!
And while he did that Mahalia made pizza dough & cut up a vege platter & made dip.
I boiled up sausages, made pizza, and cleaned up.
Mahalia tidied the living area, swept the floor and emptied all the rubbish bins.
Everyone was due at midday so we were on a roll.
The table was set and most of the food prepared when Sandra & Phil chugged into the bay in their boat.
Azzan & I were still washing up dishes so Sandra pitched in and helped get them finished.
Anson was crutching sheep all morning but was finished in time to go home and change for his daughters 1st birthday party.
He & Marah arrived round with a cake for me to cook and a platter of fruit & veges.
It was her contribution to our sugar freeness 🙂
They told me that their water supply had packed a wobbly and they had no water.
It is a bit of a mickey-mouse set up so none of us really know how it all works.
While we were on the water issue Phil & Anson had a go at trying to sort out my kitchen sink blockage.
The water is not draining properly.
They did what they could be resolved that the problem is further down the line so will have to investigate that later.

Seb & Phoebe drove over.
Phoebe had made a yummy lemon & mascapone cake so she iced it for the birthday cake.
Not very sugar free at all but extremely delicious 😉

Gabrielle & Simon arrived in their boat with their 3 girls.
We were all here now so let the party commence!
Five little ladies all having lots of fun.
Marah had bought round a basket of toys which was great.
Didn’t take long to turn a neat orderly grown ups lounge into a chaotic busy little playgroup!

After some initial socialising and cups of coffee we all found seats and began the feast.
Gabrielle & Phoebe relaxed on the couch with their babies to eat their lunch.
Marah commented jubilantly that she was so happy could sit at the table to eat now.
’I’ve made it off the couch’ she exclaimed 🙂
I laughed – never actually though of that as being a rite of passage when raising children!!

Mahalia brought out our birthday presents.
First birthday fun, teaching her how to open them.
‘Look Daddy, pretty paper!’


Maybe mummy can help 😉

Thanks Aunty Halia – I can have such fun decorating the house with these big fat chalk sticks!!
Wow! Wonder what’s inside this huge box?
A trampoline from Nonna!!
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Daddy checking out the specifications and discovering max weight is 30kg.
No Anson, you can’t use it with her!

Eden opened her pressie from Aunty Sandra & Uncle Phil, with close attention by Eva.
Then I presented her with the cake.
She was pretty intent on wanting to play with the flame instead of blowing it so Lucia helped and then they both were rewarded with a marshmallow 🙂
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And while all this was going on the men were figuring out how to put up the trampoline.
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Eva & Lucia thought it was a great idea and were busily waiting to help test it out 🙂
Finally it was up and they were in.
Then Eden found her way in too and with some bouncing help from Daddy was soon laughing hard out as she was learning how to bounce.

We all had a lovely time together.
But it was very tiring for Sapphie,

and 2.5week old Zara

and Nonna.
I was very grateful to collapse on the sofa with a hottie on my back and send a few mins with my friend 🙂
The three young mums with some of the new generation 🙂

Phil kept very quiet about the fact that today was his birthday.
My two youngest wrote him a card & box of chocolates which Sandra reckoned they should share in their outside bath tonight 🙂

Aunty Mahalia reading Eden a story.

All too soon it was time for Simon & Gabrielle to take their three wee darlings home.
Gabrielle & Phoebe trying to have a farewell hug 🙂

This is the way we roll around here.
We come to parties by boat when we can 🙂
On a calm day it beats the long and winding road hands down!

Anson & Phil went round to The Croft to try and sort out the water problem.
They didn’t make much progress with it.
I think it all needs redoing properly as throughout the years it has been altered and changed around to suit the needs and fixings that have occurred over time.

Aunty Sandra had a farewell cuddle with Eden.
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Marah & Anson took Eden off home cuz she was plum tuckered out.
Seb went back with them to try and help Anson sort out their water problem.

Azzan & I played with Sapphie to keep her happy.
She was so tired but Phoebe was just waiting for Seb to help Anson with the water before they went home.
Azzan took selfies of him & Sapphie while she explored his hair.
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Finally after a feed we packed her up and helped Phoebe get underway.
Sounds like the guys have got the water sorted for now thankfully.

Nuana had been sick all day so she stayed in her bed.
Mahalia was popping up to see her periodically to make she she was okay and had all she needed.
Shame she missed out on the party.
No fun being sick 😦

We were all so incredibly tired we never bothered with dinner.
We were all in bed before 8pm.
In fact I was tucked up with my hottie by 7:30pm.
I watched the dvd ‘Queen’ and by 8:15pm was falling asleep so turned it off & was soon out to the count.

Saturday 17th May

The crew were up soon after 5:30am.
Mahalia wanted to cook up a storm before they went out mustering.
When I got up at 6:45am they were sitting at the table munching their way through plates full of bacon, scrambled eggs etc on toast.
Mind you, it wasn’t just simple straight forward scrambled eggs.
Mahalia had the recipe book out and open and had made something pretty fancy looking!
Not bad for that hour of the day I reckon 🙂
Anson arrived to pick them up just after 7am.
The morning was bright and clear.
Hope that the sheep will cooperate today.
I went back to bed with my hot water bottle and cup of herb tea.
Caught up on my last few days of blogging.
I was just thinking of getting up when look who appeared at my door!
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Marah & Eden came round for a walk.
Eden thought it was such fun to rampage all over my bed and party with Nonna 🙂
We talked and had fun.
I gave Marah her new iPhone and showed her the basics of how it functions.
As much as I could with a wee person romping about 🙂
This wee poppet has the most amazing eyes 🙂
Shoshannah called Marah – the first phone call on her new phone.
While they talked I found Eden a good supply of Dr Seuss books.
She loves books.
Maybe not quite into sitting and reading a whole story yet, but she loves to look at the pictures and they also make good teething tucker 😉

They stayed for an hour or so until it got to cold and Eden went off to sleep again.
I got up and spent the rest of the morning in the study printing off paperwork I have to deal with over the next few days.
Talked with Jesika for ages, then finally managed to have my shower around 2:30pm.
The mustering crew stopped off at The Croft and had pancakes with Marah & Anson.
The were slow coking cuz Marah’s stove has pretty much died, so I’m sorting a replacement.
Just gotta get some transport in.
I finally managed to find some food.
Breakfast at 3pm!!
The crew finally got home and they all went off to rest.
Yesterday when Anson moved my car it decided not to go, so I went up and checked it this morning and phoned our mechanic.
When I told him the noise it was making when I turned on the ignition he laughed and said my battery was flat.

‘But all the lights on the dash are still going’ I said.
Apparently there is enough trickle charge in it to do that but not enough to turn over the motor.
Well, this blonde has learnt something new today 😉

Nuana offered to help get dinner on so I got her to help prepare the casseroles for shearing as the meat was sitting thawed in the fridge and needed to be cooked.
I cut up all the pork, mutton & venison bones.
It was darned hard on my back actually.
Nuana cut up onions and then added all the other things that I sent her off to find.
Finally we had three large dishes all ready for the oven.
Put them in and let them cook while we finished making  & eating dinner.
Dinner was simple – kedgeree – rice, fish, eggs, onion, and parsley served with tomatoes cut into waterlily shapes and red capsicum rings.
Azzan was fascinated by the tomatoes.
I told him they tasted much better cut like this.
‘Do they really?’ asked Mahalia – duh!  🙂

After dinner I found the kids sitting in the dark by the open fire.
They said they were discussing deep and meaningful things.
I saw that none of the dinner dishes had been done so I interrupted their tête-à-tête and sent them to clean up.
The kitchen drain is not emptying properly.
Looks like we may have a slight blockage, bother it!
Another issue to sort tomorrow :-/

All in bed by 9pm.
Amazing full moon out tonight.
Lighting up the bay.
Rather beautiful.

Friday 16th May

Mahalia & Azzan went off mustering over the back of the farm with Anson at 7am.
I was up to see them go and then went back to bed for a wee while.
I’m nursing my back along and am spending an hour each morning and night resting up on my pillows with a hottie tucked in behind me.
It sure does help.

Nuana was up and ready when Tardis cruised past to pick her up.
They spent the day putting out the rest of the spat and checking lines etc.

It was quite chilly this morning so I was happy to stay tucked up in bed for a while.
I watched an episode of Miss Fishers Murder Mysteries, it had just finished when the power went off.
Good timing!
I had a long hot shower just before the kids arrived back.
The muster had gone well, until the end when the sheep would not cooperate.
So Anson decided to go back tomorrow and have another crack at getting them moving.

Mahalia got the fires lit.
Power was only off for an hour due to a couple of insulators breaking.
I spent the next few hours in the study sorting out the mail on my laptop.
Ross had messaged me to say our server is near capacity so it was a good time to go through and delete a heap of ‘old no longer required’ mail, as well as clean up the ones currently on the server.
Some of it dated back to 2001!!
I found a few old photos during the clean up.
Taken when Mahalia was just 5yrs old & Azzan was about 2.5years old.
Mahalia saw them and commented ‘Awww! Why did he have to grow up? He was so cute.’

The mailboat was approaching around 2pm so I took the bag and wandered down to the wharf.
The sun is still on us for a few hours.

It is disappearing fast though, still feels like Autumn until it completely disappears behind the hill.
The house is looking so fresh and clean.
Am loving the new paint job Jonny gave it while I was away.
The light green roof blends in much better with the surroundings than the red one did.
Thanks so much Jonny – really appreciate you doing this for me xxxx
I had to sit on the end of the wharf to be able to unload the mail from the boat and not strain my back.
I chatted with Jim & Penny for a few minutes.
Nice to sit in the sunshine but the atmosphere was very cool so I didn’t dally long.
There were some boxes with the mail so I left them on the wharf for the kids to bring up.

Anson came round and took the kids to load the truck with firewood.
They unloaded it and stacked it at the backdoor while he skinned a pig.
It’s a warming feeling seeing a good supply of wood.
Nuana arrived back and helped the kids finish the job.
None of us had had lunch and as it was mid afternoon they were getting rather hungry.
So while they unloaded the wood I made salad sandwiches for them.
They were pretty darn good 🙂

I opened the mail, gave Mahalia a run through of what to do while I am away.
With so much business mail coming etc, I need to have just one person in charge of this job so that it all gets dealt with appropriately.
Then I set up Marah’s new phone for her.
It’s an iPhone so needed to be connected to my wifi to do the set up.
Eventually got that all done.
Then got her number changed over and hopefully it will be all ready to go for her tomorrow.

Mahalia made chicken Pad Thai for dinner.
She reckoned it didn’t look as good as Shanni’s but as she has never made it before I thought she did pretty darn good.
She prettied up the plates and splashed a final dash of sesame oil and tahini over them.
It was delicious.
We watched a Miss Fishers Murder Mystery while we were eating.
Well, we tried to.
But I ended up spending quite a long time on the phone with Ross trying to sort out my email problems.
There was some hassle with the server earlier in the day but now that was resolved I was still having problems.
Finally got them sorted so I was able to eat my dinner and finish watching the movie.
Then I made fruit salad smoothies for us all for dessert.
Azzan had ice-cream!

Thursday 15th May

I had a pyjama day today.
It wasn’t planned.
I just never quite made it out of them!
I spent a lot of the day resting my back against a hottie.

I was up early and got onto making a few essential phone calls.
Was so relieved to be able to find someone to do the renewals of the resource consents for our moorings.
The amount they charge compared to the stress involved is minimal.
Such a relief to unload that job.
Now to find an agent to deal with the mussel ones.
I have made several calls over the past week, plus an email to the Marlborough District Council, re some mussel farm business, but the guy Im trying to track down just never returns my calls.
Just means I am shuffling that paperwork every time I’m in the study.
Can’t file it cuz it is not resolved.
Can’t action it cuz he won’t respond.
So frustrating!

Nuana was off on the Tardis early this morning.
The kids unpacked the car for me.
Azzan gave the car a good clean out.
They searched everywhere but the stone from my ring was not to be found.
I called up the jeweller and told him.
He said to come in next week and he will sort it – certainly hope so!

Mahalia sorted all the fruit and veges out in the fridges.
Then they unpacked the groceries and had a big sort out in the panty.
It was quite cool to hear them discussing the contents of the canned food.
They are checking all the cans to see which has the lowest sugar content.
Then they made lists of the ones that are okay to buy next time.
It is very random.
You cannot say it is better to buy a certain brand cuz all products are different.
They found Homebrand baked beans have a much lower sugar content than Oak or Watties.
Whereas Homebrand canned fruit has an astronomical amount of sugar.
Plus it seems that between batches the amounts change too.
Best thing is to have a good supply of fresh frozen rather than canned.
But in a major emergency I figure whatever is on the shelves will do.
Can’t rely 100% on our freezers.
Anyway, I was chuckling cuz Mahalia was sorting out the higher sugared products and putting them to one end of the pantry shelves with the proviso that they could be used for the shearers 🙂
She’s going to be cooking for the shearers while I am away if all goes to plan.

There was left over food from the dinner the kids made lat night so I heated up some tomato and kumara soup for my lunch.
Ate that with a naan bread.
Then Mahalia told me I had to have some of the rice and buttered ‘chicken’ mince dish so heated that up and added that to my lunch.
Wow! Talk about a filling lunch.
Anson brought in some meat for us to make into casseroles, plus sausages and bacon for our larder.
The kitchen bench was covered in food while we sorted it all out.

I made contact with Vodafone re our rural broadband.
There is usually nothing that can do for us but I have found that with all the new developments happening all the time it pays to keep on their case every few months, just in case something has happened that we can hook into.
Did all the field tests for them, so now am just waiting to hear back.
Azzan vacuumed all through the living area.
Am delegating that job to him these days.
He much prefers to vacuum than sweep.
He did the kitchen so well, got into every nook and cranny!

None of us felt much like dinner so it was an easy snack tonight before bed.
I made poached eggs on toast for Azzan and me.
But just doing stuff in the kitchen really made my back sore again.
I had to call for reinforcements to clean up.

We all headed off quite early.
The kids were ready to get up early tomorrow and go mustering at 7am.
Azzan had a bag of food prepared.
He was not going to get caught out on one of Anson’s major mustering campaigns!!
I had a wee pep talk with him about the fact that Anson would be relying on them as he only had the two of them to help him and he was not to get lost and walk home alone like he has often done in the past.
Azzan assured me that he would definitely not do that this time, that he would listen carefully and do the job 🙂

Wednesday 14th May

I didn’t bother setting any alarms, just got up when I woke up.
Mahalia was sleeping in the living room.
She had moved the sofas to make herself a comfy bed.
Thankfully, he was feeling a lot better when I checked her before I left.
I grabbed an apple, banana and bottle of water & was out the door at 7:30am.
I had a hot water bottle tucked in behind my lower back.
Definitely late autumn around here now, heavy dew and greasy road.
Had to put the car into low 4WD to get up past the orchard.
It was a drizzly morning as I left but it cleared the closer to Nelson to got.
The clouds were hanging around the hills and it was mirror calm,

Such a gossamery morning as I drove around Admiralty Bay.

Roni called me as I approached Nelson so I had a game plan to begin with.
Went straight and had my passport photos taken.
Then while they were processing I got a frappaccino and called up the chiropractor.
Managed to get an appointment for this afternoon.
Took photos to Roni and we got my passport renewal application filled out and sent off with the courier as an urgent!!
With that done I was then able to relax and get on with the rest of the list.
It is amazing that even though I didn’t know I was coming to town until late last night, I still end up with a list!!
A quick tour around Briscoes, bought some vouchers and then headed out to Richmond.
Spent an hour or so with Ross going over paper work.
It is approaching gst time to some random coding to finalise.
Made the most of having some wifi to use and in between the banking and coding etc I uploaded my blog for the past few days.
When I cannot access the internet regularly, I just keep my diary & photos in folders on my desktop each day and then they are all ready to upload.
I zipped down the road at 1pm and picked up Shoshannah from school.
Drove her into Nelson to an appointment.
It was good to see her even if only for a scant half an hour.
She got a taxi back to school later.
Met up with Nathan at Hangar 58 and had some lunch while chatting with him.
Just had time to whizz up to Cleaning Technology and get some products, fuel up the car and pick up a new phone charger at Noel Leeming before my 3:30pm chiropractic appointment.
I should’ve known better than to stress about getting there on time.
He is always running late.
I ended up waiting for nearly half an hour before he saw me :-/
He checked me out and put me up on his special elevating bed thingee.
When he pinpointed an area of my lower spine with his finger I nearly went into orbit!!
I have a bad strain with inflammation in the lower vertebrae.
had a couple of wee twinges while away down south and he said usually you do get warnings before it happens, so sweeping & mopping the kitchen floor and then helping Azzan make the bed just finished off the job really.
That will teach me to do housework on Mothers Day 😉
He heat packed me and let me rest and relax for a while.
Then did some manipulation before prescribing lots of rest and heat treatment at home.
Basically said if I didn’t I wouldn’t be able to go to Australia.

From there I went off to start getting groceries.
I had a long list of very random items from Mahalia & Azzan.
They are right into cooking these days and are experimenting with Indian, sugar free, and raw food recipes.
Went round Bin Inn trying to locate as much as I could there.
As the owners are Indian I was hoping they could supply most of the spices etc.
Mira met me there.
She was delivering some chilly boxes back to us from Bri & Nick.
She and the shop guy helped load in the stuff I got there.
Then we talked for a few minutes before I went down to Benge & Co to get veges & fruit.
I loaded up my trolley and then brought in the chilly boxes to fill with the produce.
The young folk there were very helpful and carried everything out and loaded it into the car for me.
Was being good and not using my back.
Then I zipped in to get some products from Bedelia at Nelson Beauty Therapy before meeting Phillipa at Hangar 58.
She had just finished work at 5:30pm so I ate a bowl of wedges for my dinner while we talked over coffee.
It was really good to just sit and relax at the end of a busy day.
Nathan was working so breezed past when he could to chat and deliver our orders.
He finished work about the time we were leaving so I left him waiting for Mira to pick him up.
They went off to see ‘Divergent’ at the movies.
Whereas I had to go to Countdown and get the last of the groceries.
No comparison really eh?
It was around 8pm by the time I had everything packed into the car.
Sat for 10mins of peaceful inactivity in the car before starting the engine and heading toward home.
I had a pretty non eventful journey with Neil Diamond, Leonard Cohen, Fleetwood Mac and The Cathedrals singing along with me most of the way.
Nathan had filled my hottie for me so I had that wedged behind my lower back most of the way.
I was tugging it around to get it comfy as I drove.
Just as I was coming down the Ronga into Okiwi Bay I realised the stone was missing from my ring.
I could not believe it!
I had only just had it fixed a week ago.
I was hoping that it had flicked out when I was tugging around with the hottie and would be somewhere around the front seats.
I stopped at Okiwi Bay and searched as best I could in the dark with my phone light but to no avail.
It was weird really, last time I lost it I was devastated.
But this time all I felt was frustration and sadness.
I had plenty of time to ponder it before I got home and I decided that if the stone wasn’t found then I would start again and design a new ring.
Something special using the gold and remaining stones from this ring to create something new.
A memory ring.

I stopped off to leave Tim some roses at his cairn.
It was cold so I didn’t stay long.
It was 11:30pm when I arrived home.
Mahalia had left the gate open and the lights on so it felt okay coming back.

The kids had been busy cooking today.
Azzan made butter chicken but had substituted beef mince for the chicken, plus a rice dish.
Mahalia made naan breads which turned out great.
Nuana was out on the Tardis helping the guys put out spat.

I unloaded the two boxes of frozen things and left the rest till morning.
Crawled into bed and finally around 1am got myself off to sleep.

Tuesday 13th May

I was woken from a deep sleep when my arm was grasped by a hand.
A voice said, ‘Mum, I’m really sick.’
I quickly fumbled for my light.
It was 1:24am.

Mahalia was standing beside me wrapped in a blanket telling me she was really really hot.
I felt her forehead but it was cool.
But that was because she had been holding a damp cold facecloth on her face for a while.
The rest of her body was burning hot.
There was not a lot I could do so she went out to get some water and sleep in the living room on the sofa.
I went straight back to sleep and woke again around 6am.
Nuana was awake around 7am and getting ready to walk round to Waterfall Bay to help the guys with mussel work so I got up then too.
Mahalia’s temperature was down but she was still feeling unwell so stayed resting on the sofa all day.
Kullike, Kea & Irene came in to say goodbye.
We had a really good talk about Estonia where they are from.
Most interesting.
Grotty day, drizzling off and on.
This rainbow appeared around lunch time – very pretty 🙂
Tardis arrived back in from an overnighter.
So incredible to see the wharf bare of ropes!!
Well done guys 🙂
I spent most of the day in the study trying to get the paper work out of the way.
Involved making many phone calls for information etc.
I surfaced a few times throughout the day to make food and check on Mahalia.
Azzan got a barrow load of wood down for the fire & tidied his room.
He prepared his chicken pieces for dinner and left them wrapped in tinfoil to marinate.
He is busy typing up long lists, in between other jobs he is back in the study typing furiously.
Must be getting pretty good at it by now 🙂
For dinner he did a pot of carrots, broccoli steamed with almonds & butter and rice.
It was very tasty.
Nuana arrived back just on dark.
Seb & Geoff were getting a load of firewood so she walked down from the top of the hill.
She had been busy helping Seb with ropes and playing with Sapphie in between times.
We were all in bed quite early – around 8pm.
I went to find my passport tonight and discovered it expires tomorrow – oops!
Looks like a fast trip to town in the morning to get a new one activated in a hurry as we fly out in just over a week.
Will make the most of the trip and get my back sorted too.